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Summary:

Enterprise BlackBerry users have long enjoyed peace of mind from remote device management. Now consumers are gaining similar functions — Research In Motion today introduced a limited beta of BlackBerry Protect, a free service that protects personal data on a handset and finds lost BlackBerry phones.

Research In Motion today introduced a limited beta of BlackBerry Protect, a free service to protect personal data in the case of a lost handset. With BlackBerry Protect, a consumer can remotely wipe data, lock the device, add contact information to the home screen or activate the handset’s ringer to help find the device. Consumers can also use the service to backup or restore data to or from the handset over Wi-Fi or to transfer data to a new BlackBerry.

BlackBerrys in the business world already support similar remote device management through BlackBerry Enterprise Server, but as RIM continues to extend beyond the enterprise into the consumer world, a solution such as BlackBerry Protect is desirable. Those providing services to the handset market have noticed. Earlier this month Synchronoss purchased FusionOne, which provides remote backup and synchronization. Other mobile platforms either natively support remote data and device integrity — Google Sync recently added remote device wiping for iPhone, Windows Mobile and Nokia E-series handsets while Android 2.2 brings similar security enhancements to Android phones through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Apple’s MobileMe service can also find a lost iPhone or iPad, and there’s no lack of third-party software options to lock or track lost handsets on other platforms.

With more people relying heavily on portable devices to manage their calendars, data and other personal information, solutions such as BlackBerry Protect become increasingly important. If a phone is lost, is destroyed or falls into a lake, consumers will be able to get their data back quickly and ensure that such valuable information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. I think back years ago to when I kept everything in a paper day-planner — I’d be completely lost at work if I left my portable binder at home. These days, I keep as much data as possible in the cloud, and fittingly, the BlackBerry Protect beta client works in the browser. The new service supports certain 8000 and 9000 series handsets running BlackBerry OS 4.6.1 or higher.

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  1. Managing data on a portable device is critical these days, particularly since more of us are traveling and conducting business off-site. It’s amazing how easy it is to leave your phone on an airplane or drop it in an inopportune place. It’s also important to make sure you choose a reputable FTP host for your office. The smartest thing to do is choose one that features secure multi-user sites and ultrafast connections.

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  2. [...] New to such integration is a Windows Phone Live web site that sounds similar to the now-defunct-but-excellent Microsoft Kin Connect concept — an online diary of photos taken with a WP7 handset, a synchronized list of phone contacts, calendar events and more. The new site will integrate with 25 GB of storage space on Microsoft’s Sky Drive platform, a cloud-based storage service. Windows Phone Live will also offer a Find My Phone service, much like Apple’s MobileMe feature and a similar solution announced by Research In Motion for BlackBerry devices just yesterday. [...]

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  3. [...] New to such integration is a Windows Phone Live website that sounds similar to the now-defunct-but-excellent Microsoft Kin Connect Studio concept — an online diary of photos taken with a WP7 handset, a synchronized list of phone contacts, calendar events and more. The new site will integrate with 25 GB of storage space on Microsoft’s Sky Drive platform, a cloud-based storage service. Windows Phone Live will also offer a Find My Phone service, much like Apple’s MobileMe feature and a similar solution announced by Research In Motion for BlackBerry devices just yesterday. [...]

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  4. Having data on a portable device is only good if that deviced is backed up.Now days portable devices can be stolen andy time and one can also leave them when traveling.I have my iphone but when am traveling,i do not forget to make regular backups.I do backup all the data online with safecop online backup.So with my data backed up,am on a very safe side.Thanks for your post

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  5. RIM is playing catch-up here.

    I’ve been using Lookout for a while (see https://www.mylookout.com/) and this offers basically the same service: locate, anti-virus and backup (it doesn’t offer wipe, at least I’m not aware that it does).

    There is also http://smrtguard.com/ (which I have seen reference to, but never used / looked at) which is in the same space.

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  6. [...] for new devices. Perhaps media streaming or some other key differentiator along the lines of the recent BlackBerry Protect beta is in the works. I’ll find out tomorrow at the event, I suppose. We already know what you [...]

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